By Kathleen Ganster
When someone mentions “home health care” many may think of care for seniors. But home health care is for anyone of any age needing assistance with daily living and chronic conditions.
“We provide caregivers in the home to those in need and that includes children. We have had patients from newborn children to 104. We have a patient right now who is 104,” Patty Knouse, branch director of the Anova Home Health Care Offices, Inc. Pittsburgh office said.
Home health care allows people to live at home for as long as possible, as comfortably as possible. For someone with chronic conditions, activities of daily living that are simple for most may be difficult or impossible without assistance.
Direct care givers from Anova assist with the tasks of daily living such as taking a shower safely, preparing meals, and needing assistance to walk or get in and out of a chair, shopping or doing the laundry, said Peggy Gursky, executive vice president.
“Help with these daily tasks can make all the difference in being able to remain independent,” Gursky said.
Knouse added, “These are basic things that allow someone to feel normal. Everyone deserves that.”
The advantage of having direct care workers from a service like Anova is that they can work in conjunction with their home health division for those who need more health care services. If someone moves into the hospice phase of care, they can continue to have the same home health care that the Anova private duty care has provided.
The caregiver may be the one main contact the patient has during a day and the socialization from the visit may be as important as the physical assistance. And in many cases, the caregiver becomes like a member of the family. That relationship is key to the patient’s and family’s well-being and peace of mind.
“Working many hours with a consumer allows them to know the consumer’s needs and to fulfill those needs. Our caregivers become so attached that when their patient passes away, they attend the funeral. The death becomes a personal loss for the caregiver,” Gursky said.
For parents of children with chronic conditions, the home health care may be essential for their health as well.
“It is exhausting caring for someone 24/7 and that can wear out the caregiver if they try to do it all themselves. If you don’t have a substitute support system, you could really suffer yourself,” Knouse said.
Another strength of Anova’s care is their flexibility, said Gursky. One family who used both Anova’s private duty and hospice care services told the staff that by allowing them the flexibility to get more care for their loved one when they needed it, they were able to continuing leading their own lives while still having the time to say good-bye to their mother. After she passed, the family thanked the staff by hosting a luncheon in their honor.
“The caregivers and nurses were considered to be part of the family and were so appreciated,” she said.
Another family wrote a letter of thanks stating that although it was difficult in turning over the care of a loved one to other caregivers, working with Anova was a wonderful experience.
“She wrote, ‘The staff met all of the needs of our loved one, maintained the home, made grocery lists and made our lives easier just knowing that someone was there,’” said Gursky.
The care and training that go into the hiring and preparation for the caregivers by Anova is crucial to providing this quality care, according to Knouse.
“The caregivers are essential. We are nothing without are great caregivers and we realize their importance,” Knouse said.
For more information bout Anova Home Healthcare Services, Inc. visit www.anovahomehealth.com.